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August 20, 2013

In the middle of building a Cancer Center, a major software upgrade, and at least ten other small projects, I am taking a week off.

A week plus one day. There has been too much busy these days. I am heading out for some intentional quiet. Many people would do this by grabbing a backpack and a tent and making their way into the forest. I am not a very good solo camper. (I might not even be a very good group camper. I always forget the food.) I am also not very good at making quiet time for myself. Given a choice, I will inevitably end up working from home while reading a book, answering personal emails and watching/listening to a movie. Pablo used to be amazed at the way I could fill up a calendar. I only do two things, I would say. Work and church. And then he would point out that besides work, I was active in a professional organization. Besides Sunday service, I was there early for choir and a couple of nights of week for rehearsals or meetings. And piano lessons. And…

Well. Quiet.

I wasn’t going to take this vacation. It is easier to do long weekends. Easier on others at the hospital, easier on me when I return to my desk, easier on the bank account. Several people had been hinting that it was a good idea to go away for a bit. To breathe a little. I made up my mind to do it. Not just any vacation. Intentional quiet. A convent. No phone, no computer, no work, no bears. Just quiet.

The morning I went in to put in the request, I’d changed my plan and gone back to the long weekend thought. On my way into the hospital, my counterpart stopped me. “When are you taking vacation? Next month?”

A deep breath. All right, universe. I hear you.

I turned in the request and immediately my stomach was churning, my heart racing. This was a horrible idea. There is so much to do. We’re building a Cancer Center, the upgrade…

One of the physicians I work with pulled me into her office that afternoon. “I heard you were going on retreat. I don’t know you well, but I see you every day and I’m going to tell you this. If you don’t have a safe place ready in your head, this quiet is going to be very rough on you. Have a plan, because whatever you’ve been avoiding is going to be there with you.”

Another deep breath. Really, universe? I hear you.

I’m not sure what to expect on this trip. Maybe nothing remarkable. Maybe something extraordinary. Look for me next week. I’ll be the one looking refreshed, well-rested, and maybe even a little bit new.

2012-11-03 13.30.19

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 20, 2013 8:16 pm


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